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The Insider: Evolution of the Green Wave mascot

October 3, 2013 2:00 PM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

Since the 1920s the Green Wave mascot has been a symbol of pride for fans of Tulane University athletics. Take a walk down memory lane with this photo collage and timeline.
Green Wave Mascots
1920s — Tulane University athletics was dubbed the “Green Wave” after a song titled “The Rolling Green Wave.” The earliest mascot, a pelican riding a surfboard, was introduced. The image was used on programs and merchandise.

1945 — Cartoonist John Chase created “Greenie,” a mischievous boy in a football helmet. Greenie served as the team’s mascot on programs and products for approximately 20 years.  

1964 — Athletics gear was branded with a wave sporting an angry grimace at the request of athletics director Rix Yard who considered “Greenie” a bit too soft. A sack-like “angry wave” costume appeared on the sidelines.

1980s — A new logo with a block T crossed by two waves was introduced. A horned Poseidon (sometimes referred to as Neptune), god of the sea, made a few appearances in a Tulane-branded toga. Tulane administrators never officially accepted him as a mascot.

1986 — While the angry wave continued to be used on merchandise, a costumed green wave wearing a Tulane jersey began appearing at games.  He was unofficially nicknamed “Gumby.”

1998 — Gumby was replaced with a new pelican mascot named Riptide. Riptide’s suit has changed over the years from being inflatable to the fabric costume seen today.

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